Category Archives: Football

Louisville CardFile: North Carolina State

The set up was too perfect — Edward Bulwer-Lytton style — and the denouement too off the charts sublime.

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional interludes when it was checked by a violent gust of wind . . .

The improbably resourceful, surprisingly successful, fitfully resurgent University of Louisville Cardinals took the field at Carter-Finley Stadium hoping to fulfill a goal that was, let’s be frank, a pipe dream just months ago.

Bowl eligibility.

Other events of the day made a victory Saturday night in the Tobacco Road bluster even more imperative. The Cardinals final two opponents, the other impediments between them and six victories, appeared more formidable than when the day began.

Syracuse 49, Duke 6. Kentucky 38, Vanderbilt  14.

Take care of biz now, lessen the pressure of the final battles to come.

So, how do the Cardinals start?

Well, as if they want to make sure everybody watching understands, “Hey we’re the same guys who were here last year.” Continue reading Louisville CardFile: North Carolina State

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week

Looking back at last week’s picks, as is my wont before providing this coming slate’s victors, I must admit, the locals let me down.

Much to my chagrin, the Louisville Cardinals threw in a clunker at Miami.

And the Wildcats, who let me down only because I picked them to prevail which would have increased my winning percentage, did what UK usually has done in my lifetime when battling Tennessee. They tumbled down Rocky Top.

Stupid me for thinking Kentucky would beat even this season’s mediocre Volunteers. Must have been having one of those LSD flashbacks they warned us about back in the day.

Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut . . .

. . . Underdog Minnesota vanquished Pennsylvania State to remain undefeated in nine.

. . . Underdog LSU glossed up its already snazzy resumé with a W in Tuscaloosa.

. . . Mediocre Texas survived K State, which had recently toppled Boomer Sooner.

As predicticated right here.

3-2 for the weekend, pushed Seedy the Swami to 36-21 on the campaign.

As the season rounds the turn and heads for the home stretch, here come five Week XII winners:

Indiana @ Pennsylvania State. Part of the well worn shtick here are my annual references about how Hoosier fans always care more about hoops, and how they’re not paying attention to the perennially also running IU football squad. And I’ll normally pick whomever the Sunny Siders are contesting, and usually be correct. Well, something’s happened on the way to tipoff at Assembly Hall. More Crimson & Cream fans are taking note of what’s going down on the field turf at Memorial Stadium. The Hoosiers are 7-2, 4-2 in the B10, albeit not against the scariest of schedules, but way mo’ betta’ than their spate of losing records through the last, oh, decade or so. The Nittany Lions hopes for the Final Four were derailed last weekend in Minneapolis. How will they respond to the disappointment? Has Indiana improved enough to prevail in State College? Not really. But, hey, Archie’s ballers get Troy on Saturday.

Oklahoma @ Baylor. Flavor of the Month Matt Rhule’s Bears are one of the real how they doin’ that? stories of the season. They seem to always fall behind, and, so far, have always come back to snatch another scalp on the totem pole of victory. 9-0 for the season. 6-0 in the B12. It took three OTs to best the middlin’ Horned Frogs, but best them they did. Their Houdini act notwithstanding, doubters remain. Are they good? Or just lucky? Or, I suppose, both? We should, or may find out Saturday when they host the Sooners. Who escaped Iowa State, after the upend to Kansas State. I think the Green might be better than folks believe, worthy of their unblemished record. But feel the visitors shall conquer.

Georgia @ Auburn. Well, look who discovered the mother lode in the latest Selection Committee bracketology. The Georgia Bulldogs, who, that L between the hedges to the Gamecocks notwithstanding, are currently IN. In the fourth spot. Hmmmmmm. But I gotta ask, how many more boneheaded game decisions does Kirby Smart have circulating through the synapses of that brain of his? He sure has a penchant to find and use one at the most inopportune times. Meanwhile Auburn’s two Ls were both competitive Top 10 defeats, one in Gainesville, the other in Baton Rouge. Plus they’ve got the opening weekend W over the Quack. Toomer’s Corner, prepare thyself to be toilet papered.

Kentucky @ Vanderbilt. I hate having to pick this game. It’s only a matter of journalistic ethics — I always consider UK and U of L when they are playing — that prevents me from going to Minnesota @ Iowa or Tulane @ Temple. Hate it. Because the QB-bereft Cats aren’t very good. And Vandy sucks. But the ‘Dores did beat Top 25 Mizzou. Go figure. Last weekend, while the Cats were getting beat yet again by Rocky Top, Vandy laid down at Florida, zed to 56. Because the 4-5 Wildcats want to bowl, and don’t want it to depend on the season closer against arch rival, they have more on the line this weekend. Though I may rue the moment I type this: Big Blue.

Louisville @ North Carolina State. Respected Dave Doren’s Wolfpack had fashioned two 9-4 campaigns in a row coming into this season, when they were expected to be solid again, per guru Phil Steele. But injuries and whatever else might be in play have disrupted all that hope. Their only W in the ACC was by six points over hapless Syracuse, and their four Ls have been by 18, 21, 24 and 25. Louisville is all of a sudden a conundrum. Obviously considerably better under the new regime than last season, but ever wobbly. The nightmarish beatdown they suffered at Miami was like deja vu all over again. Can the Cards revive? Will they do the tighten up on Tobacco Road? In Coach Satt I believe. By dawn on Sunday, Fun is Bowling in this post season will be real for the Cards.

— Seedy K

Louisville CardFile: Miami

I’ve been on a diet for several months now.

Eating healthy foods. In healthy portions. Exercising.

Avoiding that handful of chips, or that “you can have just one cookie.”

I get on the scale first thing every morning.

Slowly, and given that I’m staying the course, inexorably, I’m dropping the avoirdupois.

But there is a strange phenomenon that is unsettling. But must be accepted.

I’ll get on the scale one day and hit a new low. Then, the next day, even though I haven’t jumped the rails in any regard, I’ll weigh a couple of pounds more.

It’s inexplicable. Most vexing. But I haven’t used it as an excuse to head over to Bennie Impellizzeri’s for my favorite pizza.

I accept those “setbacks” as part of the process. I stay the course.

So that’s my perspective when considering Saturday’s horrid performance by the Louisville Cardinals in Hard Rock Stadium. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Miami

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week X

Here’s what I learned from last week’s college football results.

Other than, that is, the cream is starting to rise to the top, other than fanbases are trying to figure out how their faves can capture that magic number of six victories and whether they want to and can afford to pack up the camper and drive all the way to the Great Northern Plains during snow season to watch their teams battle on blue turf in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, other than I’m truly grateful that Scott Satterfield is the coach of my school.

I learned that Mizzou’s terrible loss in NashVegas to Vandy was no fluke. They were blistered by the Cats. I learned that Scott Frost isn’t quite the pigskin prestidigitator the Husker Nation thought he’d be. At least yet. Also that Mack Brown can still coach.

SMU, North Carolina and Louisville were victorious as I predicted. Nebraska and Missouri were not.

3-2 on the weekend pushed me to 31-16 for the season. Which brings us to a curious Week X, during which the following noteworthies will not be playing: Louisville, Kentucky, Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Penn State, Minnesota and Oklahoma.

It just seems odd, doesn’t it, that all those schools — and I’m sure there are others I’ve missed — are taking the same Saturday off at the beginning of November?

But there will be battles, and I’m here to advise which teams shall prevail.

The winners:

Kansas State @ Kansas. It is the cockamamie nature of the sport that this 117th edition of the Sunflower Showdown kind of all of a sudden has a bit of luster to it. At least pour moi, and I’m the one sitting at the keyboard. It’s not 1987 anymore — Tell me about it — for that’s the year KU entered at 0-8, and K State at 1-7. Rock Chalk Jayhawk has been inarguably the worst P5 team in the sport for years now. Maybe decades. Oh for the halcyon days of program breaker extraordinaire Charlie Weis. Then along came Grass Eatin’ Les Miles, whose charges won at Boston College, almost beat the Longhorns, and bested  Texas Tech last weekend in a battle of b-ball powers, young and old. Cranky ol’ Bill Snyder finally stepped down in the Other Manhattan, in somewhat of a snit since the school didn’t name his offspring to replace him. Instead the powers that be wisely selected four time FCS champ at North Dakota State Chris Kleiman, who already has a Sooner scalp on his totem pole of Ws in his first season in purple. Despite a post upset Oklahoma letdown, the gang dressed Princely wins.

Virginia @ North Carolina. Is the much chattered about ACC Coastal now a meme? I don’t know. I’m not really sure what a meme is, other than something millennials talk about all the time. I’m a lot of things, but no millennial. What that conference division is though is this: C R A Z Y. Two schools are 3-2 in the conglomeration, two are 2-2 and two are 2-3. Only Georgia Tech seems a non contender. I even read somewhere how a wag spent a bunch of time figuring out how the six could end up in a tie. All of which wackamundo is why I’ve put this otherwise mediocre battle on the board, Preseason favorite UVa has lost three of four and has a hobbled QB and star defender who will sit the first half. Mac Brown’s Tar Heels famously bested South Carolina and Miami to open the season, then fell thrice in a row, and have won 2 of their last 3, beating rival Duke last time out. The game’s at Kenan Memorial in Chapel Hill, allegedly one of the most bucolic venues in the land. Baby Blue becomes bowl eligible with a W.

SMU @ Memphis State. I am so so very sure that, by the end of Game Day, which will be broadcasting, I suppose, from Beale Street, we will have had plenty enough of Rendezvous rib adulation, shots of Sun Studio and, of course, the gratuitous reverence for Elvis. (If they’re really cool, they’ll set up at Graceland. Or, inside 706 Union Avenue.) The over/under on mentions of Colonel Tom Parker is 2. Take the under. Then, making a day of it, ABC Prime Time will be televising the AAC battle from the Liberty Bowl. Herbie won’t even have to fly to get there. SMU, as we know, remains among the nation’s undefeated. The Tigers have dropped only one, but barely escaped Tulsa last time out. Looking ahead, were ya, M State? It’s frankly hard to pick against the home team in what will surely be a tight game. But the image of Dana Kirk still gives me the creeps. The Tigers pull a Darius Washington at the end, missing a FG to lose. (Forgive the hoops references, simply can’t help myself.)

Oregon @ Southern Cal. How dysfunctional must it be in the offices of the Athletics Department at the University of O.J. Simpson? Plenty, it would appear. Coach Clay Helton was atop the Dead Man Walking list to start the season. His Trojans are 5-3 overall, but a heady 4-1 in league play and tied at the top of the South with the Utes. (Who themselves have a big one this weekend at UDub.) Helton is still believed to be a goner after the season. Unless, one must surmise, he guides his troops to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl. After that opening L to Auburn, the Quack have not been bested, though last weekend they escaped because Washington State’s Mike Leach appeared to have left his meds back at the team hotel. If you haven’t noticed, I’m a Duck fan. It’s too late to stop now.

Georgia vs. Florida (Jacksonville). Does it get any more SECish than this annual neutral site brouhaha? The World’s Larges Outdoor Cocktail Party. (Guess they’ve never been to the Kentucky Derby.) UGA XXXXXXXXVVIII. Gator Chomp. #6 in the land vs. #8 in the land. I swear, Brad Nessler’s going to sound like Verne Lundquist.  Or Lindsay Nelson. It’s Bronconagurskius’s game day decision. Florida’s only blemish: LSU. Geogia’s only loss: South Carolina. Ouch. Kirby Smart’s made some not very smart in game decisions. Dan Mullen still has his detractors, though this year’s contingent has “overachieved.” Now with but one L apiece in the conference’s Eastern Division, the winner becomes the fave to play the Bayou Bengals or Crimson Tide for league crown. Will the fans be rabid? Nah, game doesn’t really mean much. Yuk, yuk. Gators.

— Seedy K

 

Louisville CardFile: Virginia

After suffering another last minute kickoff return miscue Saturday against visiting Virginia, Louisville fans have to wonder what the Cardinals’ record might be if special teams were more diligent in onside kick situations?

It was an issue at Wake Forest. It was an issue on the soggiest Saturday of the season against UVa.

Oh yeah, wait a sec, that’s right, U of L would still be 5-3, and on its if-you-really-say-you-saw-this-coming-you’re-lying collision course with bowl eligibility. Just as the Demon Deacons were thwarted, so too did the Cavaliers go down in defeat.

Because this endearing band of University of Louisville Cardinal footballers — cliché alert — Bend. But. Don’t. Break.

What is it those signs in the football complex say? Resilience? Resilient?

As Lili von Shtupp said of the new sheriff in town’s physical prowess in “Blazing Saddles,” “It’s twue, it’s twue.”

 * * * * *

U of L’s defenders played easily their best overall game of the year. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Virginia

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week IX

I remember being at some party back in the day, and there was a fellow I didn’t know who had obviously been trying to hook up to no avail with an attractive lady, whom I also didn’t know, but very much intended to try and meet.

“I’ve been trying to get in touch with you,” he told her as I eavesdropped. “But you never return my calls.”

“Listen,” she replied, “if your phone doesn’t ring, it’s me on the line.”

She turned and walked away.

Which is how I felt — kinda — after another perfecto weekend, my second in the last three weeks, third of the season.

Did I hear from either of my arch nemeses, Badger Billy or Doppelgänger Boris, offering some props?

Of course not. Mum was obviously the word.

(And, should I deign to mention the latter’s name again, it will simply be Boris. The rest is too unwieldy and umlautian.)

I was laying in wait for Badger Billy, had he reached out. He would have given me shit as usual for picking another slate of easy games. Even though Oregon was an underdog at UDub, and Michigan really needed a W in State College, and almost came back and got it.

Then I’d have said, “Hmmm, yeah, I guess I could have picked your Badgers, the biggest sure thing on the board over the Fightin’ Illini.”

Mic I didn’t get a chance to drop.

So, yeah, 5-0 pushes me to 28-14 for the season, a hefty 67% on the correctitude meter.

This week’s winners: Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week IX

Louisville CardFile: Clemson

The numbers I’m about to offer are rarely an adequate barometer.

Plus, in an age of analytics, these additions and subtractions are first grade simplistic.

Yet, given where the University of Louisville football program had fallen, and the aspirations there are for it in the aftermath, these seem a pretty fair measure of the progress so far.

The Cardinals are +26 against the defending national champions. From 16-77 a season ago to 10-45 yesterday.

Baseline: Louisville is still five touchdowns short of parity with the BCS contenders.

 * * * * *

During intermission it was surely easy for Cardinal fans to ask What if? Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Clemson

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week VIII

Realizing that much of the time — some would say most all the time — my predictions are less than estimable, I try to keep this weekly exercise you are reading as entertaining as my feeble wordsmithery can provide.

So, about sundown last Saturday, an idea for this lede came to mind.

The week got off to a less than auspicious beginning, on Wednesday no less, when App State two-stepped out of my beloved bayou country with a W in Lafayette. Boomer Sooner confirmed it presently holds title to the Red River, and that it has some D to go with that O, and it was Horns Down in Dallas.

I had a feeling after those two miscues that my projection of Khalil Tate into the Heisman discussion with an Arizona W later over UDub was delusional. And so, it came to pass.

Kentucky was down at the half to the Razorbacks, and it looked like my only hope for a W on the weekend was my Cardinals, in whom I had full faith they’d indeed down Wake Forest.

So I would have been 1-4 had Woooooo Pig Sooey held on, and a noted Harry Nilsson tune came to mind, and how I could riff on how one isn’t the loneliest number when the 1(one) is your favorite squad. (FYI, Three Dog Night didn’t write it, they just had a big hit with it.)

Buuuuut, even that didn’t work out. Kentucky prevailed, causing the entire membership of the Little Rock QB Club to call an emergency session to figure out a way to provide one Robert Petrino in Exile a second second chance.

So, 2-3 it was but a few days after a perfecto. 23-14 on the season is 62% correct. Not bad, but, as is always the case, I expect to be back totally on track this weekend, after a slight careening off the rails.

This week’s winners: Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week VIII

Louisville CardFile: Wake Forest

The joke, of course, because a joke is the only way to start here, so difficult is it to get one’s hands wrapped around this cockamamie Cards-survived-on-the-road football victory. If, in fact, any type of objective, even faintly analytical comprehension of what went down Saturday night in Winston-Salem is possible at all.

So, the question is, will Danny Manning’s Demon Deacon hoopsters be able to equal the school’s pigskin tally of 59 when they visit the Yum! on February 5? (Insert chuckle track here.)

So, what exactly was the turning point — “a time at which a decisive change in a situation occurs, especially one with beneficial results” — in this whoopsie doo 62-59 Cardinal nailbiter of an ACC W against a “Top 25” foe?

Well, it didn’t come during the injured again Micale Cunningham’s stint before his somersaulting exit to the medical tent. During his time on the gridiron, the Cards’ starting QB fashioned an unheard of 331.9 passer rating. 5/6 for 99 yards and 2 TDs. He also rushed for 59 yards on 4 carries.

Nor was it Hassan Hall’s scintillating 102 yard kickoff return. Or his 83 yard return of the second half kickoff. Which led to a Dez Fitzpatrick TD catch. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Wake Forest

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week VII

Before moving on to this coming weekend’s predictionary proclamations, let’s take the traditional one last look, shall we, at last week’s results?

I believe it would be prudent and informative.

Cincinnati ✔︎

Nebraska ✔︎

Florida ✔︎

Liberty ✔︎

Louisville ✔︎

Pulling out the slide rule — I remain old school in some regards, most regards actually — let’s do the math. Five predictions. Five winners.

My oh my, seems after all the tabulations have been calculated that I was 5 for 5, which is, no rounding up necessary, 100%.

As the U of L Cardinal broadcaster of my youth Uncle Ed Kallay would say, “You can’t get much better than that.”

Which brings my season stats to 21-11, and, rounding up, that means I’ve been 66% correct for the campaign. 65.625% if you’re picking nits.

Just sayin’.

This weekend’s winners: Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week VII